Following the break up of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers in 1977, Walter Lure (one of the singer/guitarists in The Heartbreakers) continued to branch out musically. While most people don’t know that he wrote and sang about half the songs in the The Heartbreakers, there are a few additional interesting musical facts that some people may not be aware of. In the 80s he contributed guitar to three Ramones albums at the request of Johnny Ramone (Subterranean Jungle, Too Tough To Die and Animal Boy) in addition to this he played live in his own band that featured a revolving cast of musicians. In 1979 he released a single with a new group that he was part of called The Blessed. The single featured two tracks, “Ddep Frenzy” and “American Bandstand”, but his time with the band was short lived. He would play under the name The Hurricanes and The Heroes, who released a single 1978 featuring the members of The Heartbreakers, minus Johnny Thunders which featured the songs “Too Much Junkie Business” and “Seven Day Weekend”. He eventually arrived at the band known as The Waldos.
The Waldos did not make too many recordings during their peak period as a band in the mid 80s, in 1993 they released a single titled Crazy Little Baby. In 1994 a full length album followed entitled Rent Party, which is the only full length studio album to be released by The Waldos. The band line up for this album featured Walter Lure (guitar/vocals), Tony Cairo (bass/vocals), Joey Pinter (guitar), and Jeff West on drums. The album was produced by Andy Shernoff of The Dictators and featured a collection of Walter Lure originals and a few cover songs. Rent Party features recordings of several songs which date back to Lure’s early days with The Heartbreakers, the most notable being the song “Flight”, which is a song that was never released officially with The Heartbreakers. It was however an early staple of the bands live set and a song that dates back to the earliest days with The Heartbreakers when Richard Hell was a member of the group. “Count Down Love” was another song that was actually written by Jerry Nolan (New York Dolls/Heartbreakers drummer), the other songs that have a connection to Lure’s past groups are the covers “Seven Day Weekend” originally a song by Gary U.S. Bond’s, but also a song that was played by both New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers, a sleazed up cover of Ray Charles “Busted”, and “Party Lights” a song originally done by Claudine Clark. These three songs alone have a deeper meaning, reflecting on themes that were often found in Lure’s past. One of the most poignant tracks featured on Rent Party is the Country Rock song “Golden Days”. The song, which also has an almost Pogues-like influence addresses Lure’s past in a sentimental, yet meaningful way.
Rent Party harnesses a sound and fidelity that is a not unlike his work with Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, but one that is more fleshed out production-wise than LAMF. Listening to Rent Party one can’t help but wonder what the next album by The Heartbreakers would have sounded like if they did not break up in 1977, this is as close as you are going to get. The album features a depth that contrasts its party like atmosphere. Walter Lure proved to be a survivor of the scene he was a part of. Many of his band mate’s have fallen since the release of this album including Jerry Nolan (NY Dolls/Heartbreakers drummer), Johnny Thunders (NY Dolls/Heartbreakers), Waldos original drummer Charlie Sox, Waldos bassist Tony Cairo, and saxophonist Jamey Heath. Walter Lure has continued to play live in New York City with different incarnations of The Waldos since the release of Rent Party, in between his gigs Walter worked on Wall St. as a stock broker (he is now in the financial district). Around 2006/2007, The Waldos started playing more frequently, Walter Lure released a live CD followed in 2007 titled Live In Berlin, which was recorded as a result of a European tour. The album is a solo album and it featured Walter teaming up with Dee Jaywalker. In 2009 and 2011, Lure reunited with original Waldos guitarist Joey Pinter, for some live shows. Currently The Waldos continue to play live (Lure also plays shows as a solo artists) and there has been an interest in a new album, but it is not sure what will materialize. As Lure said in an interview for soundcheckmagazine.net “Whatever happens, happens…. People keep asking me to write more songs and do a new album which I might do if I can write enough new songs to fill it - Who knows?” Rent Party is now somewhat of a rarity, the original pressings go for quite an expensive sum online. In 2009, Rent Party was reissued on vinyl.
More information on Walter Lure and The Waldos can be found at:
Walter Lure's myspace page
The Waldos facebook page
This Week's Play List:
1. The Pygmies - She Lied
2. The Ex-Boyfriends - Bubblegum
3. David Lynch - I Know
4. The Esquires - It's A Dirty Shame
5. Ritchie Knight & The Mid-Nights - Work Song
6. Woody Guthrie - Gamblin' Man
7. Gun Lake - Trees
8. The Tetraktys - Go Go Alice
9. James T Kirks - Paper Bags Got A Little More Soul
10. Chelsea - Urban Kids
11. The Cramps - Uranium Rock
12. The Humans - I Live In The City
13. Eric Welton - Kooler
14. Previous Tenants - Rolling In Dough
15. Little Red - Little Bit of Something
16. The Blessed - American Bandstand
17. David Bowie - Word On A Wing
18. Johnny Thunders & Heartbreakers - Flight (Yonkers 1976 Demo)
19. The Waldos - Cry Baby
20. The Waldos - Seven Day Weekend
21. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - One Track Mind
22. The Hives - A Little More For You
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 29. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.